Private Frank McCoy was born in Mossend, Scotland on August 15, 1885 (possibly 1886). Prior to the war he was living with widowed mother, Mary McCoy, in Ladysmith, British Columbia, working as a boat builder.
He initially enlisted at Vernon, British Columbia, with the 62nd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, on August 23, 1915, but was soon discharged on December 15th on the grounds (as described in his service record) of “not being likely to become an efficient soldier.” McCoy appears not to have agreed with this assessment as by the following day he had made his way to Vancouver where he enlisted again on December 16, 1915, with 11th Regiment Irish Fusiliers of Canada (The Vancouver Regiment).
Shipping for England as part of the 121st Battalion on board the S.S. Empress of Britain, McCoy was sent to France the following December with the 54th Battalion. Fighting at Vimy Ridge on March 1,1917, he suffered severe gas poisoning as well as shrapnel wounds, and was evacuated to hospital in England. He was returned to Canada and discharged on medical grounds on December 8, 1917.
The letters in the McCoy Collection were published in his hometown newspaper The Ladysmith Chronicle , and were compiled along with those of other local WWI soldiers through the work of the Ladysmith & District Historical Society (links shown below).
The complete list of soldiers in the can be found in the Ladysmith and District Historical Society collection.
McCoy’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 760583/463934) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
A collection of WWI soldiers' letters published in The Ladysmith Chronicle was undertaken by the Ladysmith & District Historical Society through their work with the Ladysmith Archives.